Mumbai: Syndicate Bank Ltd on Thursday reported an unexpected net loss for the quarter ended 31 December due to a sharp jump in bad loans and provisions against such loans.

The bank reported a net loss of 119.67 crore compared to a net profit of 304.99 crore a year ago.

This is the first time the bank has reported a loss since the December quarter of 2004 when it made net loss of 78.11 crore, according to corporate database provider Capitaline.

Three analysts polled by Bloomberg had forecast a net profit of 344.80 crore.

In December, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) conducted an asset quality review across the banking sector, following which banks were asked to recognize visible stressed assets as non-performing assets (NPAs).

The RBI also asked banks to make adequate provisions for these stressed assets over the third and fourth quarters of the current fiscal year. This could hit the profitability of some banks.

In the case of Syndicate bank, gross NPAs rose by 1,868.39 crore or 24.16% to 9,602.80 crore at the end of the December quarter from 7,734.41 crore in the September quarter.

Provisions and contingencies jumped 98.8% to 875.23 crore in the October-December quarter from 440.29 crore a quarter ago.

As a percentage of total loans, gross NPAs stood at 4.61% at the end of the December quarter as compared to 3.72% in the previous quarter and 3.60% in the year ago quarter.

Net NPAs were at 3.04% in the December quarter compared to 2.37% in the previous quarter and 2.38% in the same quarter last year.

Net interest income (NII) or the core income a bank earns by giving loans increased 15.05% to 1,516.04 crore from 1,317.68 crore last year. Other income increased to 551.07 crore from 428.13 crore in the same period last year, a rise of 28.72%.

Syndicate Bank shares closed at 70.25 on the BSE, down 5.13% from previous close while India’s benchmark Sensex Index closed at 24,469.57 points, down 0.09%.

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